Saturday, May 14, 2011

Lost In Transit

One by one, or sometimes three, they come on. People of the world. Mothers arms full of children and fatigue. Men with manual labor written into their hands, work boots dusty, heavy and worn. Students with textbooks in lap, cell phones in hand. The elderly off to appointments, because they're still alive. They're still doing it.

I sit with my headphones on. Silently letting my eyes wander here and there inconspicuously. Writing stories in my head for people I don't know. Wondering who the person is behind the name tattooed on the arm of the man in the sleeveless shirt. Staring out the window.

I've always loved riding the city bus. I tell people it can be either depressing or liberating depending on how you look at it.

I see single mothers I want to hug. Children I want to pick up and carry to prevent their tiny feet from becoming pavement sore. I see people with paper bagged addictions outside on the sidewalk at 9 a.m. People with not enough time or money or sleep.

I find it fascinating that in a vessel carrying handfuls of people, I feel entirely anonymous yet connected to the world. All of us trying to get to where we need to go. Moving forward, hoping that today will be The Day. Or simply accepting it for what it is.

We slide our bus passes and watch our steps. We give up our seats for the elderly and the women with convexed bellies. We go. We go. We go. We're all going. In it together, in it for ourselves. We're in it.

I don't know any of their names and they don't know mine. But I wonder if they know that I think about them all. Those people on the bus.

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Pictures found here and here.


Eva said...

This is wonderful. Also, I agree that riding the bus can be looked at two different ways. But it did usually serve to make me feel depressed. Or sometimes angry.

Althea said...

My bus-riding observation was that people tend to think they are invisible. I sat behind a girl who was picking her scalp through half the city of Minneapolis, pulling big chunks of gross through her hair.
I usually enjoyed watching people. I guess I thought I was invisible too.
Good post. You're a very talented writer and I enjoy your blog.